Barbadians No. 2 in T&T tourist market
IT SEEMS HIGH AIRFARES did not stop Barbadians from flying to Trinidad and Tobago for Carnival this year.
In fact, Barbadians made up the highest number of arrivals from the Caribbean for the annual event.
Word of this came from Barry Bidaisee, vice-president of the Trinidad Hotels, Restaurants and Tourism Association, who was in the island last week for the local leg of Trinidad and Tobago’s annual Caribbean Road Show.
The Road Show is a collaborative effort of the association and Trinidad’s Tourism Development Company Ltd.
Although he did not provide numbers, Bidaisee said Barbadians visited the twin-island republic not just for the two-day jump-up but also “the prelude to Carnival, the all-inclusive fetes, pan and various things”.
Furthermore, he said arrival numbers reflected that Barbados was the No. 2 source market for arrivals from the Caribbean, with an average of 24 000 visitors each year who travelled for shopping, sports and entertainment.
Bidaisee, who manages the Cascadia Hotel and Conference Centre in Trinidad, said entertainment is a big attraction in regional destinations.
He noted that when international R&B singer Beyoncé headlined a concert in Trinidad last year, it provided a post-Carnival boost in arrivals.
“I’m a perfect example. In my hotel [on] Ash Wednesday when Carnival people were leaving, we had nationals from Barbados, Guyana, St Lucia, St Vincent . . . checking in just for Beyoncé’s concert,” he said.
“Rihanna performing here [in Barbados] will definitely do well and you will be surprised at the North Americans who will come into Barbados just to see Rihanna.”
In addition, the Tourism Development Company’s vice- president of corporate services, Valerie Charles, said Trinidad was “heavily reliant” on intraregional travel and domestic tourism to sustain its tourism business. (NB)